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Motivation of a Terrorist Organization - Al-Quaeda

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Explain the motivation of the terrorist organization.
How can this knowledge of the terrorist's motivation assist in planning counter-terrorist strategy?
How do the motivations of terrorists differ from the motivations of other violent criminals, such as those who commit murder, rape and domestic assault?
How might cultural, socioeconomic, or political factors lead someone to become a terrorist or a criminal? (1,050 to 1400 words)


I need help with these questions in preparing to write my paper. I need direction and guidance. Please provide references.

Thank you.

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This is an interesting research project and set of questions! Your tentative outline would follow the questions below and might look something to the effect...

I. Introduction (¼ - ½ page, introducing topic, including a purpose statement; The purpose of this paper is to...)
II. Al-Quaeda (about 2 - 2 ½ pages)
a. Describing the terrorist group and Motivations
b. Motivation Assist in Planning Counter-terrorist Strategy
III. Comparing Terrorism and Crime (about 1 page) (e.g., how terrorism differs from other violent acts).
IV. Cultural, socio-economic, or political factors of terrorism (about 1 page)
V. Conclusion (sum up main points)

Now, let's look at each question through discussion, research and links for further research, which you can draw on for your final copy.

1. Explain the motivation of the terrorist organization.

It is important to understand that Al-Quaeda has an evolving ideology and strategies, meaning that motivations often also evolve and change.

(1) To resist the West and American domination and humiliation of the Muslims by fighting back (Bin Laden)
For example, early Al-Quaeda attacks, such as that on American embassies in 1998 and even 9/11 itself, the broad motivations of those responsible were clear. Bin Laden made his own agenda clear in a series of public statements. The Islamic world was under attack from a belligerent West set on the domination and humiliation of Muslims, he said, and it was every believer's religious duty to fight back. It was not a case of 'hating freedom', he claimed, but of desiring freedom from supposed American-led oppression. He repeatedly listed the various parts of the world - Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, Afghanistan and, latterly, Iraq - where he felt Muslims were oppressed.

(2) Declaration of jihad (e..g, Holy war) in the 1990s against the western world

E.g. In the early 1990s, Bin Laden emphasized his desire to secure the withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign troops from Saudi Arabia at all costs. The cornerstone of Bin Laden's religious rhetoric has remained consistent: Muslims should view themselves as a single nation and unite to resist anti-Islamic aggression on the basis of obligatory defensive. (jihad. http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RS21973.pdf).

(3) Bin Laden's attacks aimed to radicalize and mobilize the Islamic world (Western view)

E.g. The purpose of holing American warships or destroying the Twin Towers was primarily to scare or damage America, but was also intended to inspire those in the Muslim world who had hitherto rejected his extremist message. Bin Laden realized that many were pleased to see the US wounded and humiliated and went to great lengths to ensure that only targets that would be widely regarded as legitimate were hit. Suicide bombers were an integral part ...

Solution Summary

Referring to Al-Quaeda, this solution responds thoroughly to the questions related to terrorist organization's motivations, as well as looks at the implications of the cultural, socioeconomic, or political factors that may lead someone to become a terrorist or a criminal. Supplemented with additional information on terrorism and Al-Quaeda.